2 Women-Led Spirit Brands Release Must-Have Special Editions

Food & Drink

Women continue pushing the envelope in the male-dominated world of spirits. Now more than ever, ladies are entering the arena as founders, master distillers and blenders, roles that have largely been reserved for men.

Recently, Brugal Rum and Freeland Spirits have released special editions of their beloved products, created by female master distillers in celebration of International Women’s History Month.

Brugal Rum Maestro Reserva

A Dominican ultra-premium brand with over 130 years of rum making history, Brugal recently released a permanent edition, luxury sipping rum. Brugal family member and fifth generation maestra ronera, Jassil Villanueva Quintana, created Maestro Reserva, a legacy rum that celebrates and honors five generations of maestros roneros.

To craft this remarkable sipping rum, Villanueva Quintana developed an innovative cask toasting technique called Dark Aromatic Toasting, which is completely unique to Brugal.

“My family deeply embraces the elegance and soul of Brugal rum, and I’ve absorbed a wealth of wisdom from the generations of maestros roneros who came before me,” she says. “By leveraging this knowledge and my unwavering passion, all while paying homage to the Brugal family legacy, I’ve crafted a rum that is ‘moment perfect.’ My hope is that Maestro Reserva graces all of life’s big celebrations, alongside cherished ones, forging moments that will endure for centuries to come.”

Brugal’s proprietary process naturally sweetens the liquid, producing a rum that is free of external sugars and additives. After aging in premium American sherry oak casks, the rum is extracted and the casks are immediately toasted to extract natural caramel pearls from the sugars in the wood. The rum goes back into the casks to absorb the caramel and age under the Dominican sun. The result is a smooth and rich spirit, defined by sweet vanilla creaminess, velvety caramel and a hint of smoke. It is best enjoyed neat or over ice.

Maestro Reserva is presented in a bespoke glass decanter, and in support of the brand’s focus on sustainability, the secondary packaging is eco-friendly and fully recyclable. At $200 per bottle, it is available for purchase in Florida, Texas and New Jersey as of February 2024, and will expand to other select markets throughout the year. It will also be available duty-free at select airports across the U.S.

Freeland Spirits Old Tom Gin

Woman-owned, woman-distilled, and Portland-based Freeland Spirits launched a new, limited edition Old Tom style gin aged in Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey barrels to commemorate International Women’s History Month.

To create this excellent spirit, master distiller Molly Troupe finished the brand’s signature Dry Gin for six months in Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey barrels (sitting at 57% ABV, 114 proof) which imparts notes of oak, orange, and sweet caramel. This one-time release will be available on the Freeland Spirits website, as quantities permit.

“Uncle Nearest Bourbon has great vanilla and oak characteristics, that through barrel aging our gin were enveloped into this product,” says Troupe. “Once we dumped these barrels, we added just a kiss of maple syrup. Our Old Tom Gin is the perfect marriage of gin and whiskey, with notes of pine, marmalade, maple, and vanilla, and is best served with a rock or in an Old Fashioned.”

Since Uncle Nearest is also a woman-owned, led, and blended spirit, Freeland will donate $5 of each bottle sold to Regarding Her, a national nonprofit dedicated to accelerating the growth of women entrepreneurs and leaders in food and beverage to continue to inspire and encourage female entrepreneurship.

“At Freeland Spirits we’re proud to partner with and elevate other women-owned brands,” says Jill Kuehler, Freeland’s founder and CEO. “Freeland Old Tom Gin is a celebration of not only a delicious gin but also of women breaking barriers. And we’re honored to partner with Re:Her to give a percentage of proceeds to lift up the next generation of women entrepreneurs in the food and beverage industry.”

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